This brought to mind one of my favorite memories of times with Billy. Billy was a small, thin, cute kid. We grew up together in the same neighborhood, played on the same little league team, were in the same Boy Scout Troupe, attended the same Church, and hung out at the neighborhood parks when not in school.
There were times when we took risks. But not as risky as when we planned a trip to Calaveras lake for an overnight camping trip. Calaveras lake was a 20 mile bike ride away. We'd never been there but heard it was a great place to camp and fish. Billy and I, along with another friend drew up some fake letters to present to our parents asking permission to allow us to go on a weekend overnight Boy Scout trip and a letter to present to the Junior High School office asking for early release on a Friday to attend a Boy Scout trip. It was 1973, we were 14 years old, and we were really good letter writers thanks to the great teachers at Washington Irving Junior High School!
Our plan worked and we were off on our bikes heading south from our inner city school. Everything was looking good until we realized we'd need more food for our overnight trip. As we neared the lake south of San Antonio we spotted a convenience store and we stopped in. As we were choosing chips, sodas, and candy bars for dinner, cold cuts and bread for breakfast, a pretty young lady who looked to be in her early twenties walked in with her 3 or 4 year old son. This lady overheard our conversation and asked where we headed and if we were alone. We told her our plan as she listened with concern on her face. We payed for our snacks and said good bye to the pretty lady and her son.
At the lake we set up all we had, a tent. No sleeping bags or blankets. As we chatted the wind began to pick up. Dark clouds were moving in as the sun was going down, and a heavy rain began to fall. We began to horse around and started pushing each other out of the tent! Maybe it was our way to cope with the scary feeling of having to weather the storm. The winds were gusting so hard our tent toppled on top of us and we all got soaking wet. The rain kept falling so hard that all we could do was cover ourselves on the ground the best we could as we lay there and tried to sleep.
The rain stopped before the sun came up and we got a little sleep. The sun was rising as we were sitting at the campsite's picnic table preparing to eat our cold cuts without the bread which was soaking wet.
The sounds of the birds chirping and the rippling water of the lake were interrupted by the sound of a car coming up the park road towards us. As the car got closer we saw that it was the pretty Lady and her son!
We were surprised and happy to see her smiling face! I don't remember exactly how she did it but we had a breakfast of eggs, bacon, and tortillas. She told us how she worried about us all night and was glad we were OK and happy that she found us. I regret not getting her name or where she lived. As teenagers you don't think of those things.
In a very sweet tone the pretty lady lectured us on how we put our selves in danger and convinced us to get back on our bikes and ride home right after we ate. She followed us out of the park and for about 2 miles up the road to a point where we were off busy streets.
I think of this adventure with Billy, and the pretty Lady, frequently.
She was our guardian angel that weekend.